March 21, 2006

Tuesday Preconference (transcribed notes)

"The Future of Fantasy" – Tuesday 3/21

Elizabeth Haydon
1.short-term prediction—relying on old stories, new stuff in old formats
2.blurring between genres
3.young adult & children’s lit leads the way

Fantasy readers are not interested in age-limitation (they read adult books or kids books)
*When Harry Potter 7 is published, people will be sad – we need to start telling people of other options ahead of time
Locus magazine (subscribe?)
John Moore "Unhandsome Prince" (funny)

Kenneth Oppel
Historical settings
H. Rider Haggard

"Speculative Fiction"

Leave D&D / Runescape books near upstairs PCs

"Forgotten Realms" – online and books
Fan fiction where people playing MPORGs create stories about their own characters.

Charles deLint ?
"Firebird’s Rising"—abandoned girl raised by librarians

"If we’re only supposed to live in darkness, why do we have light?"

Up & coming
China Mieville "Perdido Street Station" ("hot!")
Charles Stross "Family Trade" (compact stories…Scot…online)
Paul Park (sp?)/Jeff Vandermeer (sp?)
Jean Wolfe (set in Egypt)
Marga Lanigan (Australian author)
Mette Harrison (similar to Shipping News) "Princess & the Hound"
"Magic of Recluse"
Good unknowns
Nina K. Hoffman "Fist Full of Sky" (food! Funny)
John M. Ford
Stephen Bruce
Kelly Link "Magic for Beginners" (set in library)
Robert Jordan, Card, Pratchett, McKillip, Garth Nix, Lemony Snicket, Nancy Farmer, Diana Wynne-Jones, Megan …. Turner, Phillip Pullman
*combined teen & adult fantasy discussion group

Anna Deveare Smith – Tuesday 3/21

Our purpose on earth is to push [other] people forward before we leave

Artists make culture, which is what [how?] humans learn about the world

The only answer to a question is “no” (Miles Davis)—the epitome of Cool
Marsalis: Cool needs to die; be hot instead.
Libraries are places where people say “yes”

We shouldn’t romanticize alienation [in art]
Audiences only care about your pain if it helps their pain
Schools don’t explore pain enough
Pain & mourning are a journey to somewhere else

People who can adjust to the insanity of the world are call by society “sane”

"Nobility of kind people"

"Crossing the Aisle: Readers’ Advisory for History, both Fiction and Nonfiction" – Tuesday 3/21
Sarah Johnson (EIU)
Why read historical fiction?
Not contemporary, escape from today, because we can relate to people from other times
What is it?
Novel set before the author’s time, but it’s extremely variable; author is depicting a specially-created work
How historical is it?
Being fiction is more important – it adds emotional intensity and fills gaps in the historical record; however, readers need to be confident that this is 'real history'
What do readers want?
Convincingly accurate historical setting
Entertaining plotline
Compelling characters that reflect their time
To learn what it’s like to live in another time
Historical detail woven naturally into the story

Readers are approx 70-75% women

Ronald Florence (The Marx Sisters, Gypsy Man)
Two questions: How do you know that?
Why do you believe it? (history, nonfiction)
A novelist needs to do as much good research as an historical researcher

Kathryn Lasky
What is history? Who defines it?
"Mort’s Relation" (sp?) – earliest published information on the Pilgrims, written by them
Immediacy vs. research
"Father Joe"—Tony Hendra: "Reading is a way of living extra lives"
Raise questions, not preach
"Beyond the Burning Time" (Dear America series)
Don’t disrupt the fabric (texture) of a period
Don’t impart today’s political correctness into another time period

Brad Hooper (Booklist)
2 kinds: about historic people, and about “regular” fictional people in historical settings
How well is the history integrated into the story?
Develop characters just as they are developed in other fiction (even if they are well-known figures)
Literary historical fiction is growing
Asia/China as settings
Nothing much going on in the Middle East
Female Renaissance characters
Set in New York City
Set during the Civil War
Broadening of topic, more ordinary people
Duncan Smith (Novelist)
the truths of the past or the promises of the future
what a warrior has to do to become human again
history is something that happens to us

TALK TABLES—see handout

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